Dr. Joel Schlessinger supports complaint against Jersey Shore TV show

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Dr. Joel Schlessinger supports complaint against Jersey Shore TV showThe Skin Cancer Foundation recently lodged a formal complaint against the Federal Trade Commission about the television show, Jersey Shore. The Skin Cancer Foundation claims that this television show is a “health-hazard” because the “still available episodes of the show promote tanning, especially in tanning beds, which encourages young viewers to engage in a cancer-causing habit.”

Jersey Shore is a reality television that follows eight housemates spending their summer at the Jersey Shore. In the show, the eight stars consistently use tanning beds to darken their skin.

The Skin Cancer Foundation would like to see the Federal Trade Commission look into this claim while MTV puts warning labels on all reruns and online episodes. They would also like to see warning labels on all products, advertisements and games tied to the television show, warning of the dangers of tanning.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger is very passionate about this issue and supports The Skin Cancer Foundation’s efforts.

“Shows like this end up encouraging young people, including children, to take up a habit that has been shown to cause cancer,” said Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

“Just like television and the film industry essentially toned down the appearance of smoking in their movies and shows, this can do the same for tanning.”

MTV has responded to the request, saying that while it does not plan to include warnings on the show, it does applaud the organization’s “efforts to bring attention to these issues, which are important to our audiences and the public health.”

Dr. Joel Schlessinger hopes to see a change in the portrayal of tanning beds on television.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger has high hopes for this complaint as he sees this as a serious issue in our society today.

“I hope it succeeds and wish Dr. Sarnoff and the Skin Cancer Foundation success!”

Dr. Joel Schlessinger is passionate about stopping the spread of skin cancer, especially in adolescents. Learn more about Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s involvement in the fight for skin cancer.

Do you think Jersey Shore leads to more tanning bed use? Tell us your opinions in the comments.

Click here to read the article “‘Jersey Shore’ still promotes tanning, group says,” featured in USAToday. 

Joel Schlessinger MD shares his recommendations on the best sunscreens

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Joel Schlessinger MD shares his recommendations on the best sunscreens
Although the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping, the sun is still emitting harmful UVA and UVB rays that can cause burns, premature aging and skin cancer. To shield your face and body from these rays in the cooler months, it’s still a necessity to wear sunscreen every day. Dr. Joel Schlessinger gives us his recommendations on the best sunscreens to use daily.

Joel Schlessinger MD recommends Obagi sunscreen for general everyday use

If you have normal skin, a great daily sunscreen is Obagi Nu-Derm Sun Shield SPF 50. Joel Schlessinger MD says this is a great sunscreen with excellent coverage that doesn’t look white on the skin.

Obagi Nu-Derm Sun Shield SPF 50 is a sheer, elegant formula that leaves a matte finish while it gives you incredible protection. This sunscreen contains both physical and chemical sunscreens so rays will both absorb and deflect.

For oily or acne prone skin, Dr. Joel Schlessinger applauds ultra-light, oil-free sunscreens.

For acne prone skin, Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends EltaMD UV Clear or La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid.

“These are both great options with good UVA and UVB coverage that won’t irritate acne prone skin,” the doctor says.

These sunscreens are also gentle options that work for a variety of other skin conditions like rosacea and hyperpigmentation. Recommended by many dermatologists, these sunscreens are perfect for skin that is easily irritated.

Brush-on sunscreens are also one of the doctor’s favorites.

Colorescience Sunforgettable products contain broad spectrum protection in the form of a makeup brush. Simply sweep these products on your skin for a touch of color and superior protection. Joel Schlessinger MD recommends these products for quick touch-ups throughout the day, as they make a perfect companion for your purse or pocket.

Find more excellent sunscreen options for all skin types at LovelySkin.com.

Joel Schlessinger MD says that he recommends sunscreen based on the skin conditions a patient may have. If you have a skin condition that may prevent you from using a general sunscreen, it is best to get advice from your dermatologist.

What’s your favorite sunscreen? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger on the best ways to stay safe from the sun

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Dr. Joel Schlessinger on the best ways to stay safe from the sun

There is more than one way to shield you skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends using a combination of sunscreen, sun protection hats, clothing and other innovative methods to protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation.

The cardinal rule of sun protection is to always wear a sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15 and to reapply it throughout the day. Protecting yourself from premature aging and skin cancer can be more complicated than just applying a lotion, however.

“Sunscreen is a great start, but in order to provide the most protection, other measures should be implemented,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger said.
One such measure is sun protection hats. Tilley Hats are a best-seller at LovelySkin.com – their wide brims offer shade from the sun and an added layer of defense for your scalp. Tilley sun protection hats also come in a wide range of styles, sizes, colors and materials, so you can easily find an option that suits your lifestyle.

Sun protection clothing is another option. While long sleeved shirts and lightweight pants are a few dermatologist-recommended styles, many companies are coming out with specifically designed sun protection clothing. For fair and sun-sensitive skin types, clothing with a Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) value enhances their protection against sun damage and related health risks. Sun protection clothing carries a UPF rating between 15 (good) to 50+ (excellent).

Other innovative treatments are also hitting the market. One such treatment is Heliocare, a sunscreen pill that offers supplemental protection against excessive sun exposure. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends that it be used along with sunscreen two or three times a day. He also suggests this sunscreen pill for patients with a sun allergy or vitiligo.

To purchase your daily SPF lotion, sun protection hats, the Heliocare sunscreen pill and more, visit the sun protection product section at LovelySkin.com.

What is SPF? Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains broad spectrum sunscreen and new FDA rules

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Everyone should wear sunscreen every day to protect skin from the damaging rays of the sun. But how much do you know about your sunscreen from the label? And what is SPF?

SPF, also known as sun protection factor, is a measure of the effectiveness of your sunscreen products. The higher the number, the more protection your skin will receive against the sun rays.

UVA and UVB radiation are two different kinds of sun rays that cause different problems for your skin. UVB rays cause skin burns while UVA rays cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation and skin cancer.

“SPF only pertains to UVB rays, not UVA,” said Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “Both can cause skin cancer, so it is a good idea to get a broad spectrum sunscreen if possible.”

Federal sunscreen rules are undergoing many changes, as mandated by the Federal Drug Administration. The FDA is requiring all sunscreen manufacturers in the United States to disclose if they protect against UVA and UVB radiation.

Sunscreens that do not shield against UVA rays or that have an SPF less than 15 will be required to have a warning label that they do not reduce the risks of skin cancer. The highest number of SPF will now be an SPF 50+. For a product to be a broad spectrum sunscreen, they must now guard against both UVA and UVB radiation.

Learn more about what is SPF and the new FDA regulations in regard to sunscreen here.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s favorite broad spectrum sunscreen brand is EltaMD. For acne prone individuals, he recommends the EltaMD Clear sunscreen, now available in a lotion and a spray.

What is SPF to you? What’s the most important think you look at when choosing a sunscreen?

Dr. Joel Schlessinger gives sun protection tips for high altitudes

Monday, June 18th, 2012
The Schlessinger Family at Mount Rushmore

Daniel, Nancy, Bernie, June and Dr. Joel Schlessinger on vacation at Mount Rushmore, June 2012

Dr. Joel Schlessinger just returned back to Omaha after a vacation to Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. Dr. Joel Schlessinger, along with his wife, son and parents spent the last week hiking and exploring these scenic parts of America.

“While I was hiking in the Grand Canyon, which is about 8000 feet above sea level, I took more precautions than I would at sea level as the cloud cover isn’t as much. This leads to many more sun risks,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger said.

High altitudes can be quite deceptive–at higher altitudes, many of the sun’s harmful rays are not filtered as well by the atmosphere. Temperatures are cooler but there is an increased light intensity. This can lead to serious skin burns that can cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation and skin cancer.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger and his family followed a strict sun protection regimen to keep their skin protected from the harmful rays at high altitudes. This included the best sunscreen for high altitudes and sports, sun protection hats and sun protection clothing.

As for sunscreen, Dr. Joel Schlessinger chose three of the best sunscreen choices for active lifestyles. He used EltaMD Clear SPF 46 and La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid alternately on his face. EltaMD Clear is lightweight and oil-free, perfect for any occasion where sweating may be an issue. Anthelios Fluid is also lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving a matte finish.

He also used EltaMD Sport SPF 50 on his arms and neck. This is the best sunscreen for athletes and those who maintain an active lifestyle. Perfect for hiking, the Schlessingers used this sunscreen to protect their skin while exploring the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore, as it is sweat- and water-resistant.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger also wore a Tilley Hat and a Columbia UPF shirt for extra coverage. Tilley is a brand of sun protection hats made from highly researched fabrics that help to protect your skin from 98% of the sun’s damaging rays. As for sun protection clothing, look for any clothes that have a UPF rating. UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor, measures the UV protection provided by fabric.

Don’t forget about your eyes – UV rays can also cause eye damage, including cataracts, macular degeneration, photokeratitis and more. To protect his eyes, Dr. Joel Schlessinger wore a pair of polarized sunglasses to safeguard against damaging UV rays.

In addition to sunscreen, sun protection hats and sun protection clothing, it’s important to avoid the sun during peak hours. Between the hours of 10AM and 3PM, try to stay out of direct sunlight.

“My son and I went down to a place 3 miles into the canyon and started at 3PM, arriving back to the top at 6:30PM to avoid the heaviest sunlight — and to avoid a burn!” Dr. Joel Schlessinger said.

To recap, here is Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s recommended high altitude sun protection regimen:

  • The best sunscreen for athletes and athletic lifestyles
  • Accessories such as sun protection hats and sunglasses
  • Sun protection clothing with a high UPF rating
  • Avoid the peak hours of 10AM – 3PM when the sun is the strongest

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends this extensive sun protection regimen to help save your skin from damage at high altitudes.

“While this may seem a bit much to most folks, it is a good way to protect your skin from burning.”

What outdoor activities do you partake in that require extra sun protection?

“Base tans” don’t prevent sun burn – in fact, they encourage sun damage.

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Base tans don't prevent sun burn -- they encourage sun damage.One of the most common reasons people go to tanning beds in the spring and early summer is to get a so-called “base tan.” This fact stems from the belief that a base tan will prevent your skin from sun burn when you go out on the beach. Unfortunately, this is a common, and dangerous, misconception.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger says that to protect your skin from a sun burn, you must use sunscreen.

“There is a common misperception that getting a tan is going to save someone from being burned when going on vacation,” he says. “This not only backfires, as many people will burn before vacation resulting in more sun damage, but a base tan doesn’t even protect as much as a sunscreen with an SPF of 4!”

Any change in the color of your skin is a sign of skin damage from ultraviolet radiation. With repeated exposure to UV rays, either from the sun or tanning beds, skin is at a much higher risk for skin cancer and premature aging.

“If you want to protect your skin from sun damage while on vacation, the best answer is with a good sunscreen, Heliocare tablets and avoidance of heavy noonday sun.”

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends his favorite products to take with you on vacation to help protect your skin from the sun:

In addition to topical sunscreen, Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends the use of Heliocare capsules. These dietary supplements help your skin protect against UV rays and help slow down sun-related aging, thanks to the active ingredient Polypodium Leucotomos extract. Take one a day for daily protection. If you are exposed to direct sunlight, take a second pill at noon for additional protection.

Remember, the best way to protect your skin from sun burn is with sunscreen and avoidance of overexposure to UV rays. Never use tanning beds and always use sunscreen, even if you aren’t outside for long.

How do you protect your skin from the sun?

Dr. Joel Schlessinger warns about the dangers of tanning beds and skin cancer in children thanks to recent spotlight from the “Tanning Bed Mom”

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

We are all well aware of the many dangers of tanning beds – premature wrinkling, hyperpigmentation and skin damage. The link between tanning beds and skin cancer is also tied. With long exposure to tanning beds, your chances for these unsightly and fatal conditions can skyrocket. But what happens when children use tanning beds?

Last week, a New Jersey woman was arrested for allegedly taking her 5-year old daughter tanning. Patricia Krentcil, 44, now infamously known as the “Tanning Bed Mom,” claims that she took her daughter to the tanning salon but did not expose her to the UV lights. However, her daughter told her teachers that she received her sunburn when she “went tanning with Mommy.”

Dr. Joel Schlessinger is appalled and saddened by the story of the “Tanning Bed Mom.” However, he does think it helps bring the dangers of tanning beds and skin cancer in small children to the public.

“This story highlights the dangers of tanning beds, while sadly showing the role that parenting plays in either teaching your children safe sun habits or encouraging a habit that will hurt them in the future.  I frequently relate tanning to smoking, especially since the health hazards and addictiveness seem to go hand in hand,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Children are especially susceptible to skin damage caused by UV rays found in tanning beds – children and teenagers’ bodies grow at such accelerated rates that their cells are more prone to UV damage. Tanning beds and skin cancer are closely related — using a tanning bed at a young age puts children at a far greater risk for developing this deadly disease.

In most states, children under the age of 14 are banned from tanning salons and teens between the ages of 14 and 18 must have parental supervision. As of January 1, California became the first state to ban use of tanning beds for all minors under the age of 18. You can find out your state’s official rules on tanning beds for minors here.

While Dr. Joel Schlessinger is shocked and dismayed by the story of the “Tanning Bed Mom,” he does think it teaches a great lesson on the dangers of tanning beds.

“If there is a silver lining, it is that the general public sees the tragedy of this situation and may come to their senses when it comes to teenagers going to tanning booths before prom or young adults before a wedding,” he says.

Top dermatologist Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the many differences between generic sunscreens and ones that are specially formulated

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

For one, the price is higher for many of the better sunscreens, but that is due to ingredients that are higher quality and a formulation that is less likely to cause problems with acne or other conditions. Additionally, some sunscreens may wear off sooner, despite saying they are long lasting. Because of this, my staff and I have undertaken a thorough analysis of sunscreens, ranging from those that are great for everyday use to those that are great for acne prone individuals.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, one way to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation is to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen.

But, Dr. Joel Schlessinger . . . it’s wintertime!

It is important to remember that, even though the sun isn’t quite as strong in the winter, it still has the ability to tan you and damage your skin, especially in higher altitudes such as skiing areas. So it is important to remember sunscreen, particularly if you have melasma, a pigmentation problem or sun damage.